Review – Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey

Upright Women Wanted

Book Title: Upright Women Wanted

Book Description: “In Upright Women Wanted, award-winning author Sarah Gailey reinvents the pulp Western with an explicitly antifascist, near-future story of queer identity. 'That girl's got more wrong notions than a barn owl's got mean looks.' Esther is a stowaway. She's hidden herself away in the Librarian's book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her--a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda. The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.”

Book Author: Sarah Gailey

Book Format: Paperback

Publisher - Orgnization: Tor Books

Publisher Logo:

Date published: 2020-02-04

Number Of Pages: 176

  • Writing - 8.5/10
  • Art - 8/10
  • Overall - 8.25/10
User Review
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Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey is a powerful tale of Librarians, liberation, personal freedom, queer identity, and the right to choose our own paths in life.


Freedom and Fierceness in Upright Women Wanted

Upright Women Wanted is the latest novel written by Sarah Gailey (Magic for Liars, River of Teeth). This is a tale of feminism, freedom, and equality. Set in an alarmingly near future, this dystopian tale tells us of the struggle some people must face, in order to be themselves.

This is a pulp Western novel, with heavy dystopian and queer themes. The Librarians are nothing like the calm ladies and gentlemen you’ve come to know. But they serve an equally important purpose in this new society.

Sarah Gailey - Upright Women WantedUpright Woman Wanted is a novel I’ve been seeing nonstop talk about, and having now read it, I can completely understand why. The subjects addressed in this novel are both heavy and powerful, as is the message itself. Wrapped up inside a thrilling tale, that makes this bit of fiction impossible to look away from.


Upright Women Wanted was an intense, yet brilliant, read. It’s made all the more alarming by the time period of the piece. This is a novel that easily could have read as alternate history. But instead, it’s our theoretical future, and that is a humbling thought.

Esther’s story is so heartbreaking and compelling. Sarah Gailey did a beautiful job of bringing her character to life, infusing her plight with such brutally raw emotion and circumstance. She shone so brightly in this book, even when facing her own worst enemy.

This world may be a dark one, where people don’t have the right to be who and what they want to be. But there is still some light to be found in this world Gailey designed. The characters, for one. The whole purpose of the Librarians is both inspiring and fascinating, and a story I would not mind reading more about.

I’m honestly having trouble getting over the writing for Upright Women Wanted—and that’s coming from a fan of the author. She blew me away here and provided a novel that is powerful and thought-provoking.


Upright Women Wanted was as thrilling as it was emotional and powerful. The story sped along at an easy pace. There were plenty of sights to see and even more room for surprises and character development.

Summing it up as “character development” actually doesn’t feel like a strong enough term here. Esther’s character did so much more than that, as she came to terms with her past and her love. It was beautiful and potent.

These moments were balanced out by the constant threat the Librarians faced, as well as their journey and purpose in life. I really do mean it when I say that I could happily read another ten books about the Librarians themselves. But that was probably a little obvious at this point, huh?


Upright Women Wanted was a brilliant example of writing. This is a story that blended fiction with emotion, giving us something raw yet so human at the same time. I know that this is going to be one story that sticks with me for a while now.

Best of all, this book is perfect for getting you to think. So if you’re looking for a thought-provoking novel, then sit down and give this one a read.

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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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